After Sri Lanka categorically rejected the Human Rights Council resolution against the country, refusing any cooperation with the investigation, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) said it would use “well-tested methodologies” to credibly investigate Sri Lanka’s rights record and alleged war crimes.
With apparent confidence that the investigation could be carried out despite the Sri Lankan government’s refusal to cooperate, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told The Hindu : “There have been other instances in which Human Rights Council mandated investigations have had to be carried out without the cooperation of the Government concerned.”
Addressing the 26th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, outgoing rights chief Navi Pillay had said the scars created by terrorism and conflict were yet to heal in the island nation. Quick to respond to her call for cooperation with a “credible truth-seeking process”, Sri Lanka categorically rejected the resolution, refusing cooperation.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed “deep regret” at this decision. In its categorical rejection, the Sri Lankan government had defied the express call of the Human Rights Council in the March resolution for the Government to cooperate with the investigation, OHCHR spokesperson Colville said in an e-mail interview on Thursday.
The OHCHR team will consist of 12 members. A budget of $1,192,000 for 2014 has been approved so far. Sandra Beidas, a senior OHCHR staff member with more than 20 years’ experience in the field, will be the coordinator.
The investigation team will be operational for a period of 10 months (mid-June 2014 to mid-April 2015). The first meeting of the full team will be held in Geneva in July. The High Commissioner will present an oral update to the September session of the Human Rights Council, and its final report will be presented to the Council’s March 2015 session.